Best Practices Mission — Welcome the World to Your Business: Understanding & Attracting the International Visitor

Applications are closed.

Trip highlights:

Day 1: Start with a program overview and workshop on International Traveller and Distribution Channels, led by Eva Gutsche STEM Consulting. Next, the group travels to Porter Airlines for a group discussion with Porter Escapes Inc. around their expanded travel offers to Northern Ontario. Then lunch and presentation by Michael O’Connor, General Manager and Vice-President of Quinn’s Restaurant. Hear how connecting to the international visitor market saved the restaurant during a sports strike.

Day 2: Begin at Elmhirst Resort in the Kawarthas. Learn how they design and position their Signature Experiences to attract international visitors (and take part in Flightseeing over Rice Lake – Elmhirst Resort Canadian Signature Experience!). Then back to Toronto for a Foodies on Foot guided dinner tour while exploring local neighbourhoods.

Day 3: Start with a panel discussion led by Toronto hoteliers with a heavy focus on International & Tour Operators and Partnerships for the International Traveller, held at Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation offices. Then travel to Niagara Grandview Manor and Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant for an experience and a discussion on setting yourself apart to attract the local and global visitor.

Day 4: The morning starts with a presentation from Niagara Historical Inns’ John Pinter, on Connecting Directly with the International Traveller: A Look at a Variety of Online Options. Travel back to Toronto at noon for departure

What is a Best Practices Mission? A Best Practices Mission (BPM) is a working trip that showcases success stories from other leading travel destinations. The BPM connects you directly with entrepreneurs of all sizes that are leaders in attracting and serving international visitors. You will see, experience and talk, peer-to-peer, about their successes and challenges. BPMs are one of the best ways to be inspired and to learn.

BPMs are just one of the practical and relevant tools presented by Tourism Excellence North to strengthen and improve tourism across Northern Ontario.

Who Should Attend? The International Visitors’ BPM is designed specifically for decision-makers and managers from tourism operations across Northern Ontario wishing to expand or grow their share of the international travel market.

Where? Toronto, Niagara Region and The Kawarthas. This 4-day trip will start and end in Toronto, Ontario.

Why Southern Ontario? The City of Toronto is a gateway for international visitors from around the globe. Businesses of all sizes, in Toronto and the surrounding area, welcome millions of international travellers each year. The surrounding area is also home to key receptive tour operators, airlines and other tourism booking providers

Specific Learning Themes Include:

• Understanding the travel trade distribution and pricing
• Contracting with travel partners
• Diversifying your market mix to include the international market through product, experience and facility innovation
• Marketing and selling to the international traveller direct or through online channels
• Selling internationally in a “shared economy”
• Your partners in the international space.

What will happen on this mission? You will: 
• Start off with an in-depth look at the various opportunities available to you and your business. This 2-hour workshop on Day 1 provides an overview of the many options for attracting international visitors and the ground work to effectively assess what options would be the best fit for your tourism business.
• Participate in a variety of unique on-site tourism experiences designed to appeal to international travellers from both a visitor and management perspective. These business range in size and type from large branded operations to small family run businesses. All the businesses we will meet with get their share of the global market and tap into these opportunities quite differently.
• Connect with tourism industry leaders who successfully sell Ontario to the world.
• Spend time with Northern Ontario colleagues
• Take home actionable tourism improvement ideas and tasks

Who is Leading the Mission? Eva Gutsche, STEM Consulting
Eva has extensive experience working with the international market from a variety of perspectives. As a tourism operator Eva worked globally attending a variety of international trade shows, trade missions and partnered sales trips with provincial tourism offices and airlines. Most recently her focus has been working with Destination Canada with a primary focus on the Canadian Signature Experience program.

When: Early morning Monday, April 9th to early afternoon Thursday, April 12th, 2017

Cost: Participant Trip cost is $750 / individual. Participants must apply and have their applications approved.
This cost will cover all travel, accommodation, set meals and activity fees during the four-day trip. Additional discretionary spending will be the responsibility of participants. You are responsible for travel arrangements and related costs to/from Toronto, Ontario.

Participant Details:
• The ideal participant represents a business wishing to expand into the international market or is an industry partner who assists tourism businesses in their development.
• You are responsible for your own transportation and costs to travel to and from Toronto, ON

Participant Trip fee payment of $750 due by: March 12, 2018


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